Since the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar has made several major management changes. Last spring, Dan Houser went on a sabbatical that later turned into his departure from the company. Throughout the year, Rockstar replaced studio heads at its San Diego, California and Lincoln, UK offices. The company also booted directors and managers who were said to contribute to cultural issues. Rockstar held meetings about conduct and sexual harassment, and made plans to bring in a coaching organisation called Mindful Talent for management training.
It’s been a slow process, Rockstar developers say, but it’s led to improvements to some people’s lives. “It’s like there’s an operation to get rid of bad eggs,” said one Rockstar employee. “There are still bad eggs around, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like their days are numbered.”
Last autumn, nearly a year after the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, top Rockstar executive Jennifer Kolbe sent out an email to staff with a list of bullet-pointed initiatives to improve Rockstar’s culture. Rockstar, the game developer behind Grand Theft Auto and many other highly selling...